Qatar World Cup 2022 group draw results
Qatar on Friday organised the draw for the 2022 World Cup, less than eight months before the start of the tournament.
Some of football's biggest names were present at the draw at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC), which saw qualified teams find out who they will face in the group stage of the first World Cup to be held in November and December.
32 teams were distributed into eight groups of four at the end of the draw in order to compete for qualification into the second round of competitions. Here is where the teams landed for the 21 November - 18 December tournament (see table below):
Group A includes Qatar, the Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador.
Host Qatar will make its World Cup debut against Ecuador on 21 November as the Netherlands, a three-time World Cup runner-up, will start against Senegal, the new African champion.
Group B - also due to start play on 21 Nov - includes England, the United States, Iran and Wales or Scotland or Ukraine.
England will open against Iran in a first ever World Cup game between the countries. England and the US will play each other in their second game.
England's final game could be a derby against either of its neighbours, Wales or Scotland, or Ukraine — those three teams are in a playoff bracket in June.
Group C includes Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Argentina is set to open against Saudi Arabia, and Poland will start against Mexico.
Group D includes France, Denmark, Tunisia and Peru or Australia or United Arab Emirates.
Group E includes Spain, Germany, Japan and Costa Rica or New Zealand
2010 champion Spain will face 2014 winner Germany in a tough group for Japan.
Group F includes Belgium, Croatia, Morocco and Canada.
Group G includes Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon. Brazil will open against Serbia, which it beat 2-0 four years ago.
Group H includes Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana, as Cristiano Ronaldo is on track to open his fifth straight World Cup finals by facing Ghana.
The top two teams in the standings of each group advance to the round of 16 knockout stage.
Kickoff times and stadiums for each game will be decided this month. That lets FIFA allocate games to prime broadcast slots for viewers in a team's home country.
A total of 37 teams were involved on Friday because three entries in the 32-team lineup are not yet known. They are to be confirmed in June when the European and intercontinental playoffs finish.
The final European berths will be decided as Scotland faces Ukraine in a playoff semi-final and the winners take on Wales.
The remaining two places will go to the winners of the intercontinental playoffs, as Costa Rica faces New Zealand and Peru takes on the UAE or Australia.
There have been some shock big-name crash-outs from the tournament in recent weeks, including Italy, Algeria and Egypt (which is now requesting a rematch after Senegalese fans 'blinded' Mo Salah with lasers during the game).
Seedings for the draw were based on the latest FIFA world rankings published on Thursday, and the seven highest-ranked qualifiers, which includes France, are in Pot One along with the host nation.
Qatar - which has a population of under three million people - won the right to host the World Cup at a vote in 2010. It is the first Arab country to ever host the global tournament, however, and more than 400 million Arabs across the MENA region will see it as an Arab World Cup.
The World Cup is traditionally held in June and July, but due to the extreme heat in the region, the decision was taken to move the tournament to the northern hemisphere winter.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is fully embracing the event and has even temporarily moved to Doha, saying "I have never seen a country so ready to host the World Cup as Qatar".
"It will not only be the best World Cup ever, but also a truly unique one," Infantino claimed.
FIFA announced on Wednesday that over 800,000 tickets for the World Cup had been snapped up so far.